SNPRC sustains two colonies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). One is a Specific-Pathogen-Free (SPF) rhesus monkey breeding colony which produces monkeys for AIDS-related research.
The other colony is an SPF rhesus monkey breeding colony which produces monkeys with Familial Hypercholesterolemia. This population of rhesus monkeys carries a spontaneous mutation of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene. Heterozygotes display phenotypic characteristics typical of familial hypercholesterolemia, a relatively common condition in humans that causes early onset cardiovascular disease. Therefore, these animals are highly useful models for research on mechanisms and corrective therapies for this condition.
As for their living environment, the macaques live in indoor or outdoor enclosures in social groups of 2-10 individuals. The cages have multiple perches and swings so that the monkeys can climb and jump above the ground, as they are a more arboreal (or above ground) dwelling species than baboons or chimpanzees.
Rhesus Macaque Image Gallery